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Conveyancing Explained – What are Property Searches?

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Property Searches are carried out on every house purchase. The term “property searches” covers a number of different searches offered by Local Government, Utilities and Environmental agencies. The aim of any search is to provide you with information about any potential restrictions, benefits and conditions which may affect the property and ultimately your use and enjoyment of it.

Our quotations allow for a Local Authority, a Water/Drainage, an Environmental and a Chancel Indemnity policy in each instance. Additional searches are sometimes required due to the property’s location.  Your solicitor will guide you if it becomes apparent that additional searches may be required.

Local Authority Search

The Local Authority Search is made up of two parts; the LLC1 and the CON29. These are normally submitted together with a location plan by the solicitor or conveyancer acting on your behalf. Form LLC1 is a search of the local land charges register and will tell you a number of things, e.g. if for example the property is a listed building, if it is in a conservation or smoke control zone. It will also tell you if any trees on the property are protected by tree preservation orders.

Examples of what the CON29 includes are as follows:

  • Building Control History
  • Planning Control History
  • Nearby Road Schemes And Motorways
  • Contaminated Land
  • Radon Gas

Water/Drainage Search

This search provides confirmation of whether a property is connected to a public sewer, septic tank or other private disposal facility. It will also confirm if the property is connected to a public or private water supply and provide details of how the property is billed for its water supply and wastewater disposal (either rateable value or water meter). Finally, the report will confirm if the property is close to or affected by water mains or public sewers.

Environmental Search

An environmental search is a report carried out by a specialist environmental search company that looks into the past land use in the area. They check whether the land is likely to be contaminated within the meaning of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It will also check for risk of flood, and depending on the exact location may look at energy and infrastructure and ground stability.

Additional Searches

Additional searches, (such as mining searches), may also be required depending on the location of the property. Your conveyancer will guide you as to which additional searches are required (if any).

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